Posts Tagged ‘Parkinson’s’

Constipation May Be Early Sign Of Parkinson’s Disease

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

A Mayo Clinic study found a relationship between Parkinson’s and a history of constipation.  They note the incidence was about two times more frequent in a group of men and women with Parkinson’s disease than in an age-matched group of men and women who did not have the disease. 

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disease that causes body tremors, rigid muscles, and difficulty walking and talking according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance, a national trade organization committed to educating Americans about health issues. The disease alters the body’s autonomic nervous system, which controls spontaneous body processes such as heart rate, digestion, salivation, and bowel function. 

Reserachers noted that chronic constipation is common among people who suffer from Parkinson’s.  They note that constipation may precede the appearance of classic movement symptoms of the disease in some people.   The medical experts evaluated about 38 years of medical records comparing constipation history in 196 men and women who developed Parkinson’s at an average age of 71 years, and 196 Parkinson’s-free “controls” of similar age and gender. 

Roughly 36 percent of the Parkinson’s patients had a history of constipation compared with only 20 percent of the controls, a significant difference.  After allowing for differences in age, smoking, coffee drinking, the use of constipation-inducing drugs, and constipation during the 19 years prior to the onset of Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s patients remained about two times more likely than controls to have a history of constipation.  Their findings were reported in a recent issue of Neurology.